Netanyahu, Clinton Meet After UN Speech
The United States and Israel "share the goal" of stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, a U.S. official said late Thursday after top level talks in New York between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
AFP reported that the two met for 75 minutes one-on-one, hours after Netanyahu called for the international community to impose a "red line" on Tehran to stop it enriching enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
"They had an in-depth discussion on Iran, and reaffirmed that the United States and Israel share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," a senior State Department official said in a statement quoted by AFP.
“They agreed that we will continue our close consultation and cooperation toward achieving that goal.”
The U.S. official added that the two leaders "discussed regional developments and the peace process. It was an open, wide-ranging constructive conversation."
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu drew an actual red line with a marker on a chart symbolizing Iran's uranium enrichment program, and explained that Iran must be told that if it reaches enough uranium enriched to the 90% level in order to make a nuclear bomb, it will be attacked.
“I've been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years,” he said. “I spoke about it when it was fashionable and when it wasn't fashionable. The hour is getting late. Very late. When it comes to the survival of my country, it is not only my right to speak – it is my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.”
The Obama administration remained unimpressed after Netanyahu’s speech, and officials in made it clear that the United States still opposes placing a red line for Iran.
President Obama rejected the idea of placing “red lines” for Iran during a phone conversation with Netanyahu several weeks ago. Earlier this week, he likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a clear “red line” over Iran's nuclear ambitions to "noise" he tries to ignore.
While Obama has declined a request for a meeting by Netanyahu, the two are expected to speak over the phone on Friday.